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My 3yr old scratching herself

Whenever my 3 year old daughter gets upset she scratches herself. She scratches up and down her legs and will keep doing it if I don't stop her. It scares me that she can hurt herself like that and it's always over something little (like if I correct a behavior). Any suggestions? Someone told me to ignore it but she will keep doing it so I always stop her b/c she'll leave marks on her legs she scratches so hard.

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Asked by mommyof3girlclm at 6:33 PM on Sep. 16, 2008 in Preschoolers (3-4)

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Answers (6)
  • Give her something else to do when she is upset. Maybe cuddle a teddybear. Rock a babydoll, anything she is will to do

    Answer by vicki2008 at 6:52 PM on Sep. 16, 2008

  • Some kid's go through these weird stage's, my older daughter would throw a tantrum and rip hair's out of her head. Just trim her nail's all the way and make her focus on something else. I used to take my daughter to a bathroom and splash her face with water and until she stopped I would'nt let her out. Sound's a little tough but it's hard especially when your out in public and it worked for me.

    Answer by 2precious2 at 7:06 PM on Sep. 16, 2008

  • My daughter is 3 also and when i get on to her or tell her to do something she bites herself....i make her stop or turn it into a joke and make her laugh i ask her can i have a bite and play bite her...i think some kids just go through this they get mad and take it out on themselves...i was gonna ask the doctor ...but i'm just gonna see if she will grow out of it....

    Answer by Armywife510 at 11:44 PM on Sep. 16, 2008

  • could be nerves/anxiety or stress related problems????? ..has anything "major" changed lately?? im pretty sure its just a phase tho..and like you said..ignore it, show her it doesnt bother you, she'll get bored of doing it..and problem solved!! and also keep her nails short so she doesnt hurt herself..good luck

    Answer by alexis_06 at 2:34 AM on Sep. 17, 2008

  • When she is scratching herself, validate that you understand she is feeling angry.  Try teaching her alternatives besides scratching herself.  I would also try not to feed into her drama. She wants a reaction from you.  My daughter would roll her eyes back, through herself on the ground and pass out for a few seconds.  I would make sure nothing was in her mouth, pick her up and she was then fine.  I spoke to her peditrition and was recommened to ignore that behavior, one I did she stopped..Also, children like to please let your daughter know when she is good.  Tell her how proud you are of her that she shared a toy or listened to what you had to say.


    Answer by mommiedear at 3:21 AM on Sep. 17, 2008

  • Just show her to throw a fit, if she is really hurting herself. Honestly, if she is going to hurt herself it may be hard to watch her throw a tantrum but it will be better than her causing harm to herself. Whenever she starts to do it get a pillow and show her to hit it on the ground, yell into it, scream that she's mad. Anything to make her stop hurting herself! I'm studying psychology and specializing in children, and this seems to be the best method for children who hurt themselves.

    Answer by Kayo at 11:19 PM on Sep. 21, 2008

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